Frequently Asked Questions
You can see questions raised by colleagues during the consultation and responses from Communisis below.
FAQ Quick Links
FAQs relating to the pension scheme
How are my investments protected within the Communisis Flexible Retirement Saver and my existing DC fund being transferred from the Communisis Pension Plan?
Money paid into any Defined Contribution arrangement (including the current arrangements and the Communisis Flexible Retirement Saver) is invested in investments funds and it is firstly important to note that the value of your DC pension pot can go up or down depending on how the investments perform.
In terms of the Communisis Flexible Retirement Saver itself, the Scottish Widows Master Trust benefits from full protection under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). This is the UK’s statutory fund of last resort for customers of authorised financial services firms, such as Scottish Widows. This means that, in the very unlikely event of Scottish Widows being unable to meet its liabilities, its customers would currently be covered by the FSCS for 100% of a claim for any loss to their benefits with no upper limit.
Where employees are members of the Communisis Pension Plan, existing DC savings are currently looked after by the Trustee of the Communisis Pension Plan and similar investment fund protections are available through the insurance arrangements with Legal & General and ultimately the FSCS. Members’ existing DC funds are expected to be transferred to the Communisis Flexible Retirement Saver later in 2021 if the proposals from Communisis Limited go ahead. In this event, the Trustee would work with Scottish Widows and manage the entire process on your behalf to ensure that the transfer is carried out in a way that protects your interests.
Will I be able to transfer my existing DC fund in the Communisis Pension Plan to an alternative arrangement of my choice if the proposals go ahead?
If the proposals go ahead, the Trustee will write to members after 1 April 2021 in respect of the DC funds built up by them in the Plan for the period up to and including 31 March 2021. It is expected that members’ current DC funds in the Plan will be transferred to the Communisis Flexible Retirement Saver later in 2021. The full value would be transferred across with no penalties. However, there would be the opportunity for you to transfer your current DC fund to an alternative arrangement such as a personal pension before the transfer of your current DC fund to the Communisis Flexible Retirement Saver takes place. The Trustee will confirm all options in respect of members’ existing DC funds after 1 April 2021, if the proposals from Communisis go ahead.
What happens to the assets of the existing Communisis Pension Trust such as property?
Will my pension be invested between 1 April 2021 and the date of transfer from the Communisis Pension Plan to the Communisis Flexible Retirement Saver?
When there are a number of members who are so close to retirement why are we changing things?
Will it be safe to transfer my existing DC fund to the new arrangement when investment markets are uncertain due to the pandemic and Brexit?
FAQs relating to the contribution structure
Why do I have to reapply to increase my personal contribution (also known as an AVC)?
I do not pay a pension contribution and have never have done so why do I have to contribute now?
I am in the auto-enrolment section getting lower employer contributions than most colleagues – can I get the higher rates?
I currently receive higher pension contributions from Communisis because of a legacy Defined Benefit Scheme (pre 2007), so why is it proposed now that my contributions from the Company are being reduced?
Of those between aged between 55 and 65, 33% (in a specific population) don’t understand how they will be impacted.
In terms of proposed contribution changes, a link to the salary calculator at onecommunisispension.co.uk can be used to explore the effect on take home pay of a change in personal contribution rate.
If the proposals go ahead, there will be an impact on expected retirement income where contributions are lower than currently paid. However, as is currently the case, there will be the ability to pay additional contributions under the new structure to bridge any gap personally, and an opportunity to review retirement needs using the tools that Scottish Widows will make available.
Communisis have set up a dedicated team to assist with individual enquiries and to help employees understand the impact of the proposals. Employees can contact the team by telephone on 0207 429 1429 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
80% of those who responded to the Union made it clear that they do not intend on retiring in the next 2 years so they are going to feel the impact after the conclusion of the compensation being offered.
The compensation being offered is poor.
Communisis is not sticking to what was agreed when individuals TUPE’d over to Communisis.
The proposal document we received mentions that the DC contribution scales no longer align with Communisis values. Which values specifically, and what factors have changed to render them no longer in alignment?
Factors leading to the proposals in respect of contributions include:
• The current DC pension landscape in terms of appropriate contribution levels,
• The current economic climate in terms of affordability and sustainability over the long term, and
• The organisation itself – i.e. Communisis is required to offer benefits to all employees that are representative of the market place within which Communisis now operates.
FAQs relating to member charges
Why have my charges increased?
Can you please share the amount of money Communisis expect this change to ‘save’ by no longer paying the administration fees in the Communisis Pension Plan?
Communisis believe value for money can be better enhanced by offering a modern type of pension scheme through a financially strong provider with an established brand. This will give members more options such as access to the pension freedoms, wider investment options, and the ability to better plan for future retirement using a selection of engaging tools, videos and helpful information to improve the member experience.
There is reference to ‘competitive terms with an additional discount’ due to the joint relationship with LBG, but is this in favour of members, Communisis, or both? If for members, where does the additional discount apply?
Communisis went through a process of due diligence to review the market to find a pension provider that could offer excellent value for money overall. A shortlist of providers was determined following advice from Communisis’ pension consultants and Scottish Widows was chosen as the preferred provider from the shortlist. Following the selection process, when Scottish Widows learned of the joint relationship with Communisis, they offered a further discount to their proposed pricing as a direct result of the joint relationship, thus enhancing value for money further. The further discount is taken into account in the proposed charges for the Communisis Flexible Retirement Saver and so is of benefit to members.
Communisis Limited or its licensors, 2020. Registered Office: Communisis House, Manston Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS15 8AH. Registered in England and Wales. Company No. 02916113.